Zaatar Climbing Herb


Judith Cox – Bela Lugosi Daylily

Zaatar is an interesting herb and kind of acts like a climbing sage. The leaves are good to eat fresh, and they are quite spicy when dried.

The heat and humidity continue to be a factor and to add to the misery, I am covered in poison ivy and wild parsnip sores. Yes, I did cover up and yes, I was careful, but obviously not careful enough. Perhaps it is the added heat or perhaps my immunity is down but this year I have managed to be covered in sores. I am being even more careful now. It is important that I not expose my parsnip sores to the sun, or they will get worse, and I am watching carefully for more poison ivy. I will finish dealing with the poison ivy in the fall when the leaves turn bright red, and I can see them easily. That way I won’t accidentally rub against it as I pull it out.

Bela Lugosi Daylily

Last week I treated myself to a trip to Whitehouse Perennials ( What a glorious place. I sat for quite a while drinking in the view of so many colourful daylilies. About five years ago I came across a daylily called Bela Lugosi. I have always been a fan of old horror and science fiction movies, and Bela Lugosi will always be my favourite vampire. Bela Lugosi the daylily, is dark and mysterious and very beautiful and there it was, in the last row of a field of daylilies. I happily purchased it and now it lives in my garden. A variety of pollinators visit my lot of daylilies, all to enjoy. I find that daylilies do well in difficult areas, and they attract the pollinators I need for my vegetables.

Tomato Update

The tomatoes are growing like crazy. The ones in pots are always looking for water. and I find it hard to keep up. I am making sure that they get regular feedings. Some have curled leaves which happens when the plants were stressed as they started growing. The Indigo Rose tomato is the one with the most stress, but it is producing tomatoes. I have left a lot of the grasses and weeds from the compost to grow in the tomato pots. They help shade the roots of the tomatoes and seem to confuse the insects that want to eat my tomato plants. I was able to observe a common Eastern bumblebee using ‘buzz pollination’ on one of my tomato flowers and that was wonderful!

Black Krim and Bumblebee tomatoes 
  Black Krim and Bumblebee tomatoes 

While my world seems to have become my garden, my daughter has had the opportunity, as an archaeologist, to travel. One of her favourite places in the world is Jordan in the middle East. When she was there, she became very fond of an herb called zaatar. I was able to find this herb in my Richters Herb catalogue (  It is definitely a high zone plant and so I treat it as an annual. I find that it grows best in a pot with my other difficult herb, white sage. I hope to keep both of these herbs through the winter under lights, but so far, I have not been successful.


Zaatar is an interesting herb and kind of acts like a climbing sage. The leaves are good to eat fresh and it is quite spicy when it is dried. I have found it does very well in the herb bread that I make regularly. I use one to two tablespoons of fresh herbs in this recipe and one to two teaspoons if the herbs are dried. The wonderful thing about this bread is that it is quick and made in the crockpot! Be sure you take it right out once it is cooked and I like to put it under the broiler to brown the top.

Zaatar Herb

Crockpot Herb Bread Recipe

I use an oval crockpot and a stand mixer. In the stand mixer add 1 teaspoon of sugar and a packet or 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast to a cup of warm water. Cover with a tea towel  for 5 minutes. It will be frothy.

To the frothy mixture add

  • 2 ½ cups of bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons fresh herbs

Using the dough hook, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes and the dough will become soft. Line the crockpot with parchment paper and place the dough, shaped as a loaf, inside. Cook on HIGH for 90 minutes

When cooked, the bottom should be brown. You can brown the top under the broiler.

Water those pots and watch for stress in your plants.  Be careful of poison ivy and wild parsnip as well. Enjoy your week. Judith (Email:  Veggie Bites are available at or

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